Welsh trainer Tim Vaughan stages a long-distance raid on Musselburgh tomorrow and can collect a double for his trouble.
It’s a lengthy trek from Cowbridge in Glamorgan to the East Lothian track, but Vaughan is no stranger here and his Landsman looks set to repay some of the 30,000gns the trainer paid for him at the sales in Newmarket last autumn.
The six-year-old had been racing in Ireland where he was successful twice on the level, firstly for JP Murtagh and later for Tony Martin, having begun life in the Quatar Racing colours after a ¤125,000 sale as a yearling.
He was placed over timber in Ireland and showed that he retained his ability after an eight-month break with two decent runs on the level at Dundalk before moving to south Wales.
His new connections were delighted with his effort on his British debut at Huntingdon recently when he led until the penultimate flight before finishing third and he can open his account over jumps in the Congratulations Catch Bissett - Employee of the Year Maiden Hurdle (2.40).
“We gave him some time to find his feet and he ran well for us recently, so he certainly looks a decent prospect,” said Vaughan. “He has a rating of 125 and that puts him 10lbs clear, so it looks a suitable opportunity.
“It’s a long way to Musselburgh, but we don’t mind the trip if we can be competitive.”
Sergio showed massive improvement when third at big odds at Warwick recently and can complete the Vaughan double in the You’ll Get More with ESPC Handicap Hurdle (3.15).
The seven-year-old has yet to win in 11 starts and failed to complete the course in his first three races this term. He fell at Stratford, was brought down at Hereford and then pulled up at Huntingdon, but his latest effort suggests there are races to be won with him.
The step up in trip here should help as he is bred for stamina. His dam – who has already produced a decent jumps winner – is closely related to those top class performers Thisthatandtother and Carlingford Lough.
Cumbria-based Nicky Richards has a much shorter trip to East Lothian, but he can also land a double beginning with course specialist Wot A Shot in the Introducing Racing TV Handicap Hurdle (4.20).
The gelding simply loves the place and his CV here reads two wins, a second and a third placing from six starts. He produced a strong run to lead after the last hurdle and justify favouritism here last month and can follow up off a 3lbs higher mark, especially as smart stable conditional rider Danny McMenamin will now claim a 7lbs allowance.
Richards has Rubytwo entered in two races at Doncaster this weekend, but sidesteps Town Moor to run his mare in the Watch Racing TV Mares Handicap Hurdle (4.50) on the East Lothian track and the hint should be taken.
The seven-year-old won a bumper at Kelso nine months ago and has made the frame in all three starts so far over timber. She was fourth at Perth before flopping when a hot favourite at Newcastle, but turned in a much improved effort when runner-up on a return visit to the Tyneside track just before Christmas.
Selections: 2.40 Landsman; 3.25 Sergio; 4.20 Wot A Shot; 4.50 Rubytwo.